Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"Old Joy" (director: Kelly Reichardt)

This recent low-key indie release stars Daniel London (as Mark) and Will Oldham (as Kurt) as two old chums who decide to head out to the mountains in Oregon for a restful escape from their stressful city lives. With Mark's dog Lucy in tow, they retreat to an isolated area with hot springs, where they camp out, catch up on old times, talk about life, drink beer and smoke, and ruminate on the state of things. Both men seem tense at times, but ultimately this open-ended look at how things change is as much an appreciation/love letter to the wilderness as it is about the characters, and their growing distance in the 'civilized' world. It's an almost Herzog-like set of natural visuals accompanying a storyline that seems almost incidental. A lovely little film, though probably not for everyone. As a musical side-note, Oldham does not contribute any music, but the lovely soundtrack here is performed by Yo La Tengo.

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